Great content makes great brands. And great content marketers are always innovating, learning and observing to create appealing content that truly reaches out. Like everyone else out there, I love good content, too…content that adds value. However, only writing good content is not enough. Marketing is not a domain for static players, here, the only winners are those who are constantly churning out new ideas, anticipate changes and keep up with trends.
The year that is …
This year, one trend that really caught the eye (and many others) was conceptualized by Huffington Post – detailed recipes for tantalizing food items through videos spanning less than 60 seconds! Bullseye – food, appetizing pictures and a useful video delivered in less than one minute of the audience’s time.
It is this kind of foresightedness I am talking about that content marketers must develop. Creative heads at Huffington Post took into account the short attention span of viewers, and used the hottest content marketing trend of 2015-16 – videos – to deliver a useful experience in a short frame of time. Cheers to that!
Another example I like to quote is that of Nike – how the giant brand connects, responds and interacts with its customers, very quickly, is no mean feat to achieve. By creating a dedicated Twitter page for customer support, they have ensured their own content on other pages is not muddled with customer queries, while also ensuring customer queries and concerns are quickly and efficiently dealt with. Simple, but smart!
The year that will be …
What rules in 2016 may not in 2017. And as the year draws to a close, prudent marketers will keep their eyes and ears open for new trends, plan ahead and cash in on the hype before it dies down and becomes stale.
What will dominate the year 2017? Videos, viral content, augmented reality, native advertising?
Definitely, 2017 will be more challenging, more unique and more personalized. But wait, don’t be intimidated; here are 7 content marketing trends that will help you pack a punch in your content in 2017.
The 7 content marketing trends to watch out for:
Making each word count
Attention spans will only grow shorter in the coming year. Instead of 30 seconds, viewers want the juice in, say, 3 seconds! Shorter attention spans, better technology and every brand pumping content at the viewers means successful content in 2017 would be shorter, crisper and unique! Most users will skim through articles, posts and videos unless the headline shouts out to them, to stop and pay attention.
Thus, content marketers must develop dense content, where each line is valuable to the user.
The mantra – Say more in less.
The content space is being cluttered. The number of brands using content marketing and social media to reach out to consumers (almost a steady number) has increased rapidly. So how does a brand effectively reach out to consumers in this cluttered market?
Personalization will be the buzzword for 2017. Content will no longer be created for the masses, but specific groups targeted as part of planned campaigns. Leveraging technology (read analytics) to determine user behaviour, and employing these insights to create personalized content for consumers that is emotionally appealing and more relevant than ever will be key.
Image Source : Coca-Cola
Experiment with the format
Blogs, emails, e-books; personally, it gets a little too boring sometimes. I love blogging, but even I don’t want to read hundreds of words at a stretch, howsoever well written.
Of course, these content strategies are here to stay, but smart content marketers will break the monotony of content in 2017 by playing with the format. Content will turn more visual, more appealing and more dynamic. Think gifs, infographics, creative data charts and videos as part of your content.
BTW, search engines love videos, too.
Videos will continue to rule
Everyone loves videos (remember Huffington Post) and will continue to do so in 2017. The era of video content has arrived, just that, shorter is always better.
Developing a video strategy will be crucial in 2017. Content marketers must focus on sharing valuable information through visual content, rather than focusing on the virality of videos.
Snapchat, another trend that is here to stay, has introduced to us the concept of Vertical Videos, that look much better on mobile and claim higher completion rates than their horizontal counterparts.
Retention over acquisition
In a flooded market, user engagement is the key to success. Content will no longer focus only on getting readers to the page, it will focus more on engaging them, to keep them coming back.
User retention via higher engagement will become important in the coming year. So put on your thinking caps for more subscribers, more engagement and returning users.
Did I hear someone say quizzes, freebies, fun competitions and insider tips/newsletters?
A hot trend this year, influencer marketing will only get hotter and trendier in 2017. However, brands will no longer look for actors or biggies to speak for them, but online influencers with relevant niche and reach.
Marketers must, however, exercise caution while choosing their influencer. I strongly suggest you search their content to find the right influencer for your product. Influencers are already trusted by their followers, and telling your story through an influencer will make it more compelling. Influencers know what their followers like, and they create content that resonates with the followers, driving customer acquisition for the brand.
Immersive content experience
With live video feeds already making waves, 2017 will be all about a more ‘immersive’ experience for users. People want to feel they are doing much more than staring at a computer or mobile screen, and while augmented reality (remember Pokemon Go?) and virtual reality can deliver this, a more closer to home approach is including 360 degree videos in your content. Offering live webinars and workshops is also a great way to personally interact with your users.
The conclusion: Keep moving
These trends are based on what I see and hear around me from experts, from the technologies that are evolving and an experience of how content marketing has shaped up over the years.
By far, I can see that in 2017, content marketing will only get more exciting, more challenging, with fewer winners, albeit, big ones.
Fluidity in content creation and ideas will be the mantra for success. So continue creating honest content, while you keep an eye on upcoming trends to keep pushing the envelope.